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Oakland Red 07-16-2007 04:33 AM

Ex Terp, Washington Federal, and JanSport backpack CEO dies
[url=http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/15/BAGU0R119C10.DTL]JanSport president killed in car crash[/url]

[B](07-15) 15:33 PDT DANVILLE[/B] -- Michael Corvino, president of the JanSport backpack brand, was killed Saturday in a solo car crash near his home in Danville.

Corvino, 46, was driving on Creekview Place in his 1970 Dodge Charger just before 5:30 p.m. when he turned left onto Camino Tassajara, accelerated and lost control of the vehicle, which then struck a tree, according to a statement from the California Highway Patrol.

His 16-year-old daughter and another passenger, John Shaner, 16, were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where they were treated for minor injuries. Corvino was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was scheduled.

All three were wearing seat belts when the accident occurred, the CHP said.

The CHP impounded the car to determine whether mechanical difficulties contributed to the crash.

Corvino moved to the Bay Area with his family in 2004 after being promoted to president of JanSport, the San Leandro backpack company that is a subsidiary of the Vanity Fair Corp. He had worked for the apparel and sportswear corporation for 15 years, during which he held several positions, including vice president of sales and merchandising for Vanity Fair Imagewear.

"Mike was a talented and passionate leader and inspired everyone around him," Mackey J. McDonald, Vanity Fair Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement Sunday. "Mike had an infectious smile and laugh and was a dear friend to many at VF."

As president of JanSport, Corvino was part of a brainstorming team that worked closely with companies such as Apple Inc. to develop technology that would connect iPods and cell phones to the straps of JanSport backpacks.

In an interview for the Robert H. Smith School of Business newsletter last fall, Corvino said noted the importance of such partnerships to JanSport.
"Media has become important for many of us, but especially for teens," he said. "The iPod and Bluetooth capability were a natural next step for us."

Frank Fenton, JanSport's vice president of sales and Corvino's close friend, called him "the finest manager I ever worked with."

"He was the consummate people person. He was larger than life and an absolute joy to be around," Fenton said.

Corvino was born in Philadelphia and played high school football in Pennsylvania where he was a top defensive prospect during the late 1970s.

He played linebacker for the University of Maryland at College Park from 1979-1982 and was named All-ACC.

In 1983, Corvino joined the USFL, playing for the Washington Federals until 1985.

His 1984 Federals team narrowly avoided setting a record for most losses in a single professional football season.

"It would have been embarrassing ... to have said I was on the worst team in football history," said Corvino in an interview with USA Today after the game. "When we broke the huddle, we didn't yell 'win'. We said 'us.' We played this one for ourselves."

The team won, beating New Orleans Breakers 20-17.

Corvino is survived by his wife, Joyce, and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Alexandra.

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